New Ohio State coach says report is not true

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — New Ohio State basketball coach Jim O’Brien says there is no truth to a Boston columnist’s contention that he was fired at Boston College before taking the Ohio State job.
“I was never fired,” O’Brien told The Columbus Dispatch today. “All I can say is that what is reported is inaccurate.”
O’Brien was hired away from Boston College on Wednesday to replace Randy Ayers, who was fired after Ohio State’s fourth-straight losing season.
A Saturday column by Will McDonough in The Boston Globe said Boston College President Rev. William P. Leahy, angry over leaks he felt came from O’Brien, withdrew a proposed contract extension and told O’Brien “he was no longer the basketball coach.”
The column did not cite a source.
“There’s nothing accurate. … Other than that, I don’t have a whole lot to say,” O’Brien said. “I have some ideas about why it appeared, but frankly I’d rather not share them. BC had taken a beating in the Boston papers for a couple of days.”
A column in Sunday’s Boston Herald refuted McDonough’s story.
Referring to Boston College administrators, basketball writer Mike Shalin wrote, “The leaks all came from them. Heck, maybe they just wanted to run him out, and this was a convenient way to do it.”
O’Brien spent most of Monday touring Ohio State with members of his coaching staff at Boston College.
“They’re taking a look at the jobs and have been meeting with our personnel people and learning about Ohio State,” OSU athletics director Andy Geiger said. “I think that some of them may wind up here — all of them might wind up here — but they need to go back and consult with wives and do all that stuff before all of that happens.”
In related matters, Geiger said the university was close to reaching an agreement on the buy-outs of the contracts of both coaches fired at the end of the season — Ayers and women’s coach Nancy Darsch. Both were fired on March 10.
Beth Burns, formerly San Diego State coach, was selected on Thursday to replace Darsch.
Meanwhile, the director of the seat license program at Ohio State’s new Value City Arena said O’Brien’s hiring did not produce a large response in seat-license sales.
“When the program started out, we sold a ton,” Alex Ambrose said. “Since then, it’s been pretty steady with the exception of when Andy decided to change the coaching situation.
“I’m waiting to see in the next two or three weeks if the naming of the new coaches does bring the surge that we were anticipating or not.”